Fish with banana and plantain (recipe loosely based on OT verses):
The fish is perch, chosen for the name associations, and disappointingly flavorless. The banana is to die for–the Stone’s ginger wine makes it perfect. I added some plantains just to see how they compare. A little dry on top, but quite tasty, with a flavor somewhere between banana and sweet potato. The peppers are from the Mexican section, I forget the varieties, but in spite of being pierced, imparted little or no flavor. Next time forget fresh and go for the chili powder.
Apples and raisins, with banana:
Very nice, in spite of having no set recipe and improvising both the brand of apple and the type of nuts. On the left, a Chilean apple, in the middle Golden Jonathan (they fell apart after being baked), and on the right Fiji.
The big nice surprise here was the ginger wine and the port. The ginger wine, in spite of being a bit on the sweet side when I tasted it, gave the perfect flavor to the bananas. And the Australian port–oooh! …and such a rich chestnut color, even redder than it appears in the photo. At first sip I thought oh, too sweet again, and then the flavors started revealing themselves, one after another, reminding me of some orchard of fruits without names, ending with an almost burnt flavor. If that’s what Australia tastes like, I want to sip it forever.
“Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts.”*
Update: Twelve hours after ingesting this, I am most certainly sick with some digestive tract malady. What was it, the fish? The chili peppers? Mexican chiles have been implicated in the ongoing salmonella problems in this area. Or maybe it was a more recent meal, the eggs or plantains I had for breakfast five hours ago. Back to the BRAT diet–bananas, rice, applesauce, tea–that’s standard for travelers in the third world. Only this time it’s something somewhere in my own kitchen.